Research Tools Site Survey Results

Thank you to the 52 participants that sumbitted their online survey.  Your comments and input have been very valuable and changes are already under way based on your suggestions.  Here is a brief summary of the results:

The five databases that our librarians MOST want are all Gale products:

  1. Biography Resource Center
  2. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
  3. Literature Resource Center
  4. Health & Wellness Resource Center
  5. Gale Virtual Reference Library

The five databases that our librarians LEAST want are all EBSCO products:

  1. Computer Source
  2. Regional Business News
  3. Alt Healthwatch
  4. Business Source Premier
  5. Academic Search Premier

84% of the participants this our recommended web sites are of value to our patrons.  Most of these participants however, commented that they use them, but don’t know that our patrons do.  It was also very clear that the categories of most value are: Local Information, Genealogy, and Consumer.

55% of the participants use “360 Search“.  The main reasons for not using this tool are slow speed and poor results.  We will be working hard on improving this federated search tool and hope to have changes ready be the beginning of the school year.

53% of participants though it would be nice to see the top five most recently accessed databases on our web site somewhere.

A majority of participants think that we don’t need any avatars, branded widgets, or vendor branded links on our site.

Ideas for improving the content on our “Search the Internet” page included: adding Bing and Wolfram Alpha search engine links, adding information literacy instructional content, adding more Sno-Isle specific search tools.

Additional suggestions included:  new/refined subject category headings, more visible links to specific resources, like telephone numbers, legal forms, general encyclopedia, animal research and InfoGuides and a World Languages page similar to IMCPL‘ s site.

If you would like to give more feedback, suggestions, comments, please leave them here or contact Christa Werle or Colleen Brazil.

2009 GVRL eBook Weeding is Complete

At our last RSC meeting, we reviewed our current GVRL titles and compiled a weeding list based on currency of publication and edition.  A list of about 15 titles was submitted to Gale|Cengage for deletion and that process has now been completed.  Going forward, we will review the GVRL collection for weeds every six months.  If you run across a title that you feel should be reviewed, please contact Christa Werle.

New ReferenceUSA Interface

As many of you have noticed, ReferenceUSA launched a new interface this week.  While most of the functionality hasn’t changed, just is easier to access and “prettier”, you may want to take note of the following changes:

  • You can now search by “Executive Name” in the basic or Quick Search
  • For Custom Search you can expand your search field options from the left column.
  • “Geography>Neighborhood” is a new search field option.
  • If available, there are images of business properties now.
  • In detail records, you can expand or collapse categories of information.
  • “Radius Search” has been improved and made more prevalent.
  • “Corporate View” has a new “family-tree” icon.

In the next few months we can also expect to see additional new features:

  • Email download (no longer limited to print or export only)
  • Mapping of results or GPS polygon an area for results within.

New Reference eBook Collection

We will be introducing a new vendor of Reference eBooks to our electronic resources.  We are starting with five titles from Marshall Cavendish that have been selected by our Reference Services Committee.  We hope to resolve access and authentication issues and have the following five titles available through our catalog and Research Tools site by the start of the school year

New Pew Report: The Internet and the Recession

The Internet and the Recession by Lee Rainie, Aaron Smith, July 15, 2009: “More than two-thirds of Americans – 69% – have used the internet to help them with personal economic issues that have arisen in the recession and to gather information about the origins and solutions to national economic problems. That amounts to 88% of the adult internet users in the country. The internet ranks high among sources of information and advice that people are seeking during hard times, especially when it comes to their personal finances and economic circumstances. At the same time, broadcast media outpace the internet as sources of news about national economics and broadcast sources still overshadow the internet among all Americans for information and advice related to their personal financial circumstances.

Patron Request for GenerationsOnLine

An Oak Harbor Library patron has requested that Sno-Isle Libraries consider a subscription to GenerationsOnLine.org, a site devoted to Internet literacy and access for the paper generation.

We are currently in contact with this provider regarding multi-user remote access and authentication issues.  I will update this post with more information as I learn it.  Thank you for the suggestion!